Dave Brailsford: British cycling now have winning momentum
Dave Brailsford says Great Britain's cyclists have rediscovered some of that Beijing feeling after a fruitful UCI World Cup
Dave Brailsford believes Great Britain’s cyclists have rediscovered some of that Beijing feeling after a winning weekend at the UCI World Cup in London.
Since dominating at the Laoshan velodrome, winning 12 medals and seven golds, Brailsford has seen his all-conquering team matched and eclipsed at recent major events.
But they won seven medals from ten Olympic events at the London 2012 test event, including four gold, one silver and two bronzes, plus a gold for Joanna Rowsell in the non-Olympic individual pursuit.
“This is the best across the board performance from our team in a couple of years and it shows we are heading forward and we’ve got the right momentum,” he said.
“The team has got that bit of robustness and resilience back and if we carry that forward then we will be alright.
“We’ve put a long hard winter in and we can see the green shoots of spring appearing in training.
“We’ve learned a lot about riding here and what the crowd will be like.
“If you let the noise get the better of you, then you will end up going out too hard and could pay for it. The crowd also help you when you need to dig in and it does make a difference.”
Brailsford has long said that Team GB are unlikely to repeat the success of Beijing, after changes to the track programme and a decision by cycling’s world governing body that restricted each nation to one competitor per event.
However, Sir Chris Hoy is looking good to repeat his three gold haul after striking two golds and a bronze to lay down an impressive marker to rivals, most notably team-mate Jason Kenny.
“Chris has come out of this very well but no decisions are made yet and we’ll see where we are come April and May,” added Brailsford.
“Chris’s self-belief and confidence are only going to go up. We just need to build of this momentum level.
“The expectation level with Chris was already pretty high, so I’m not sure what difference the World Cup will actually make. He just has learned to live with it.”
Britain’s team pursuit medal also chances look good – the women won World Cup gold in a new world record but the men, defending Olympic champions, were soundly beaten by world champions Australia, who are looking pretty formidable.
But Brailsford sees no reason to panic, with the forthcoming World Championships in Melbourne his next target.
“We’ve improved the men’s team pursuit from the European and they’ve worked their socks off,” he said.
“We can’t control what the Australians or others are doing but if you take our performance and compare it to what it was and what it is now we have made big strides forward and we will continue to get better.”